About Us

The Albert Lea Art Center is located in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Our address is:


Albert Lea Art Center

226 W. Clark Street

PO Box 313

Albert Lea, Mn  56007


Board Officers: President, Tom Ferleman; Vice-President, Donna Widenhoefer;

Treasurer, Bev Jackson Cotter; 


Artistic Director, Marty Shepard

 

Art on Broadway Shop co-Managers, Charlene Marley and Ruth Olson

 

Office Manager, Charlene Marley                                  

 

OUR  HISTORY:

 

With the strong encouragement of local artist, Lloyd Herfindahl, the Albert Lea Art Center was created on March 4,1959 with the choosing of a board of directors and the election of officers, beginning the process of incorporation and the framing of the by-laws.The first meetings and exhibits were held in various businesses in Albert Lea until 1975 when the Art Center purchased the oldest church building in Albert Lea located on 501 West Main Street.

 

In 1986, with a federal revenue sharing granted  provided by the city of Albert Lea and the generosity of the community during a major fund drive, the Art Center was able to purchase the Rivoli Mini Mall at 224 South Broadway. The building, now on the historic registry, was built by Doctor William Bessesen as a conservatory for his wife Beatrice Gjertson Bessesen, an acclaimed opera singer.

 

In 2005, the building was sold  with the stipulation that the first floor would continue to be a center for the cultural arts in the community and a home for the Albert Lea Art Center. Because of continuing conflict, the Art Center began a search for a new home. With the possible availability of the Freeborn Bank building, the Art Center has entered negotiation with the city of Albert Lea and Cohen-Esrey for the first floor. In 2014, interested citizens initiated a capital campaign for renovation. In the meantime, the Albert Lea Art Center has relocated to 226 W Clark Street as temporary headquarters. 

 

ART ON BROADWAY offers the unique opportunity for shoppers to purchase the original works of area artists and writers. Items include:  paintings, pottery, cards, jewelry, books & supplies for the artist.

 

The gift shop provides space and visibility for artists of southern Minnesota to merchandise their wares to the public. The gift shop also has artists' supplies that are hard to find in local stores.